Carol J. Pierce Colfer
Responding to Environmental Issues through Adaptive Collaborative Management: From Forest Communities to Global Actors
London: Earthscan/Routledge, 2023
Edited by Carol J. Pierce Colfer and Ravi Prabhu.
Focused on forest management and governance, this book first examines two decades of experience with Adaptive Collaborative Management (ACM), assessing both its uses and improvements needed to address global environmental issues.
There is broad recognition of local communities’ importance in enhancing the resilience of local systems, both social and biophysical. The ‘revisits’ to ACM sites presented here demonstrate long-lasting advances in empowerment, knowledge and care. But they also show the adverse impacts of perverse national policies. Global and regional actors will have to work more closely with smallholders, Indigenous Peoples and local communities, recognizing their key local roles in forest stewardship. This volume argues that the activation and empowerment of local peoples are critical to addressing current environmental challenges and that this must be enhanced by linking and extending such stewardship to global and national policymakers and actors on a broader scale. This can be achieved by employing ACM’s participatory approach -- characterized by conscious efforts among stakeholders to communicate, collaborate, negotiate and seek out opportunities to learn collectively about the impacts of their action — with regional and global actors.
The case studies here presented reflect decades of experience working with forest communities in three Indonesian Islands and four African countries, all areas where development pressure has been acute. Researchers and practitioners who participated in CIFOR’s early ACM work had the rare opportunity to return to their research sites decades later to see what has happened. These authors reflect critically on their own experience and local site conditions to glean insights that guide us in more effectively addressing climate change and other forest-related challenges. The editors discuss the value of Stewardship Economics as one pathway for improving our success rate.